A tough day for Blake Beavan overshadowed a good day for a number of Seattle hitters, on an afternoon when the conditions favored offense.
The two teams combined for seven home runs — five by the Brewers to key their 9-7 win — with winds that were blowing out to left-center undoubtedly helping the ball fly out.
Still, manager Lloyd McClendon wasn’t using that as an excuse for his pitchers, namely Beavan, who allowed four solo home runs among eight hits overall that led to seven earned runs in 5.2 innings.
“Regardless of the conditions, you’ve got to pitch down in the zone and we didn’t do it very well today,” McClendon said after Seattle fell to 14-6-3 on the spring. “You’ve got to make pitches and you’ve got to continue to make pitches even when you are struggling a little bit and he got the ball up in the zone and it just wasn’t there.”
The outing won’t help the chances of Beavan to make the Opening Day roster in what is a pretty fierce fight for the last few spots in the rotation and bullpen.
Beavan said he struggled from the start with his overall command, particularly of his changeup, which he said has been one of his best pitches this spring — he came into the game having allowed just three earned runs in 12.2 innings.
“I just didn’t have a good feel for it today,” he said.
He said because of that he only threw three or four, which he said later might have been a mistake, saying it’s something he needs to continue to throw to try to keep hitters off-balance and also in the hope that the command will come around.
Beavan didn’t get much help when he left the game in the sixth with a runner on second and two outs and Milwaukee pitcher Wily Peralta — yep, the pitcher — up to bat. Ramon Ramierz came in and promptly gave up a home run to Peralta, a blow that capped a four-run inning to put the Brewers ahead for good, 8-4. Tom Wilhelmsen also had something of a ragged inning allowing two hits and has a spring ERA of nine.
Seattle matched the Brewers with 11 hits, with shortstop Brad Miller getting three in four at-bats.
He did so hitting second, which McClendon said in the pre-game meeting with the media was something he wanted to get a look at as part of some broader experimenting with the lineup.
Miller has been on a tear of late and is how hitting .447 for the spring.
“He keeps swinging a hot bat,” McClendon said.
Kyle Seager, who had been in a bit of a lull, also went 2-4 and had one of Seattle’s two home runs. Mike Zunino had the other HR as part of a 1-3 day and Robinson Cano also drove in two in his first game back after a five-day absence from camp to deal with some personal issues.
The Mariners will be back at it Thursday at 1 p.m. against the Cubs in Mesa.
Here are some offensive highlights:
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And here’s video of what McClendon said after the game:
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